03/05/08 — City condemns house, holds off on another

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City condemns house, holds off on another

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on March 5, 2008 1:45 PM

The Goldsboro City Council delivered both good and bad news at its meeting Monday night.

A house at 439 East Elm Street will stand another day, but a house located at 400 North John Street will soon be demolished.

And the Borden Loft Condominiums project will move forward, while a club on South James Street will not.

The council tabled a decision on whether to allow the owner of the deteriorating Elm Street house to work with city officials to try to find financial support before condemning it.

The home has been in the owner's family for more than 100 years, and City Council members want to see it kept that way.

Chief Building Inspector Ed Cianfarra brought the house to the council for condemnation because of its current condition.

But council members had questions.

"Have we exhausted all other options?" Councilmember Michael Headen asked.

Cianfarra said that the owner had worked with the Community Development Department to help find grants, but the owner couldn't receive the grants since she doesn't live in the house.

"If I was in that situation, I would hate for that to happen," Headen said.

Councilman Chuck Allen said he agreed with Headen, saying he believes the city needs to do everything they can to help the owner keep her house.

The problem is, owner Phoebe Annette Moore said, is that she is retired and repairing the house is difficult on a fixed income. She said she has hired a contractor to do the work but that he has been ill, slowing progress.

"We are trying to save what we have," she said. "Because really, that home is my heart, and I'm going all I can do."

Mayor Al King told her that the city would work with her to try to find a solution.

"We don't want to destroy a home at all, and especially a home like yours," the mayor said.

The North John Street house, on the other hand, is not feasible for repair, and the owner has made no effort to work with city officials on the matter. The dwelling was condemned by the council and will be added to the demolition list, Cianfarra said.

Council members approved the rezoning of property located on the east and west sides of North William Street between Royall Avenue and Tarboro Street from general industry to residential to allow for the renovation of the old Borden Manufacturing Co. building into 65 loft units.

But, a conditional use permit was denied by the council for a request made by Henry Battle to operate "a place of entertainment with no ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) permits" on the east side of South James Street between Spruce and Pine streets, the location of the former Elk's Club. The council denied the request since the proposal went against the city's Unified Development Ordinance due to an inadequate amount of parking spaces and an inadequate buffer between residential areas.

The denied request also comes after the Planning Commission denied the permit on Feb. 25 and six people spoke in opposition of the club at a public hearing held on Feb. 18. Both the commission and residents felt that the proposed use of the location wouldn't fit in with a residential area or the city's neighborhood plan.

Council members also approved a conditional use permit requested by Bobby Reavis for property located on the northwest corner of East Ash Street and Daisy Street for the operation of a used car lot as well as a final subdivision plat for Chafin Place to allow the city to maintain the once-private street.

In other business, the council approved consent agenda items including a formal agreement with Cherry Research Farm for operation of the re-use spray field; a full-time custodian position; police budget amendment; farm lease agreements with Daw Farms, Inc. and Williams Farms, Inc.; rezoning of property located on the northeast corner of West Grantham Street and Elizabeth Street from general business with watershed protection to highway business with watershed protection; a site plan revision for Pate & Smith Investments for property located on the northwest corner of East Walnut and Patrick streets; and a site and landscape plan for Moe Abduh for property located on the northwest corner of West Ash Street and North George Street.